Columbus Open Container Attorney

Open container is a very common charge in Columbus, Ohio. Many people who are charged with open container violations did not even know they were breaking the law until tickets were issued. To help you avoid getting a ticket, here’s everything you need to know about open container violations in Ohio.

In Columbus, no person shall have in the person’s possession an opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor in any of the following:
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  • In a liquor store (unless it was a sample)
  • Anywhere that has a alcohol permit issued by the division of liquor control, unless any of the following apply:
    • It’s authorized to sell beer or liquor for immediate consumption
    • It’s authorized to serve beer, wine or mixed drinks
    • It’s a convention center
    • It’s a sample
    • It’s a music festival
    • It’s an outdoor performing arts center or orchestral performance
  • In any other public place
  • In a car, moving or stationary, whether you’re the driver or a passenger, unless
    • You’ve paid to ride in a limousine and you’re sitting in the back


Punishment for open container violations:

In Ohio, open container is a minor misdemeanor and carries with it a potential fine of no more than $150. Although the punishment for open container violation is rather light compared to other alcohol related crimes, there are other issues you may experience if you were convicted.

Such as:
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  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings


I have been charged with an open container violation, how can an open container attorney help me?

If you are facing legal charges for violating Ohio open container laws, a trained open container attorney may help you fight and defend your rights both outside and inside the court house. An open container attorney can help determine the following elements which will affect the outcome of your case:

  • Whether you, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated Ohio law
  • Whether the ticketing police or law enforcement officer violated any state or federal law
  • Whether the ticketing police or law enforcement officer followed the appropriate procedure

Although it is a minor misdemeanor that is punishable only by a fine, an open container violation is still an alcohol related offense and should be treated with an appropriate level of concern. Remember, even a misdemeanor conviction will stay on your record forever if you don’t take care of it from the beginning.

Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with an open container violation, it’s important to know what you’re up against. Complete the form on this page to have local attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and attorneys will call you at no cost or obligation.
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Can I have an open container if I’m a boat passenger?

Yes, you can! The person operating the boat, however, still can’t have an open container, and his or her blood alcohol content cannot exceed 0.08, just like with cars.

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